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Where is God with the answers? Why is he so distant so often? How do we bridge the gap? After all, God is not a physical being like us -- so how are we supposed to relate to him? If your hunger for God often seems more frustrating than satisfying...
Where is God with the answers? Why is he so distant so often? How do we bridge the gap? After all, God is not a physical being like us -- so how are we supposed to relate to him? If your hunger for God often seems more frustrating than satisfying ... If you've sensed a disturbing disparity between theology and experience, between God's promises and life's realities ...
Or if you've seen God's promises work, but have stumbled and want to believe again ... then this book is for you. Award-winning author Philip Yancey articulates the fundamental questions that confront us all: How does life with God really work? How do I communicate with God? If God heals, why hasn't he healed my loved one? If he changes people, why am I still the same? How does God work -- and how does he work for me?
Yancey takes us on a journey into personal faith where there are no sacred cows that can't be discussed. Intellectual doubt, hurt, risk, dark times, baffling providence, the mysteries and paradoxes of life ... the very things that threaten to capsize our trust can become the catalysts for a deeper, wiser, more mature yet childlike faith in the end.
With trademark candor, Yancey trims away false expectations of God -- and in their place, reveals what we can expect of him. Here is a probing, personal look at six gut issues: What God is really like? What it means to desire God? How a relationship with an invisible God works. What faith looks like in actual operation. What stages we go through in personal growth. What we can expect in spiritual transformation.
If you're ready for a spiritual journey that reconciles faith with honesty, start here. Reaching for the Invisible God helps you move from tough questions to a deeper relationship with a God you can trust, love, and live for with all your heart.
|Part 1||Thirst: Our Longing for God||11|
|1.||Born Again Breech||13|
|2.||Thirsting at the Fountainside||25|
|Part 2||Faith: When God Seems Absent, Indifferent, or Even Hostile||35|
|3.||Room for Doubt||37|
|4.||Faith Under Fire||51|
|6.||Living in Faith||73|
|7.||Mastery of the Ordinary||85|
|Part 3||God: Contact with the Invisible||97|
|8.||Knowing God, or Anyone Else||99|
|10.||In the Name of the Father||123|
|Part 4||Union: A Partnership of Unequals||159|
|14.||Out of Control||173|
|15.||Passion and the Desert||185|
|Part 5||Growth: Stages Along the Way||209|
|Part 6||Restoration: The Relationship's End||247|
|22.||An Arranged Marriage||269|
|23.||The Fruit of Friday's Toil||279|
And there lies the rub. No matter how many choruses we sing about seeing God and touching God, or how many hymns we sing about walking with God in a garden, eventually we realize with a start that relating to an invisible God involves important differences from relating to other humans.
I joke that I have spent much of my life "in recovery" from the churches I grew up in. I learned fairly early to discard the legalism, the spiteful spirit, and the blatant racism of those churches. Ever since, I have sought, as a writer and as a Christian, to find a faith that fits me comfortably, like a well-tailored suit of clothes.
Years ago, I wrote a book called Disappointment with God, exploring misconceptions people have about what to expect from God. In the back of my mind, though, I've always known that someday I would have to answer that question in a positive sense. What can we expect from God? What degree of intimacy? What answered prayers? What, if any, special privileges does God grant his followers? What does life with God look like?
I am not the first to wrestle with these matters, of course. In writing this book I interviewed Christians both ordinary and renowned. I read from mystics who spent their entire lives in pursuit of God. I learned startling things about life with God, things no one had warned me about. I also learned that local churches do not always offer a safe place for struggle and doubt. Many Christians attend church, look around them, and conclude, "Everybody here seems to get it but me." I've heard from so many of those Christians, in fact, that I'm beginning to wonder who really does "get it!"
At the heart of this book you can find the question, "How can we have a relationship with a God who is invisible, when we're never quite sure He is there?" I think that question, in some form, must occur to every spiritual seeker. I have no special authority in attempting an answer to the question -- only the authority of a pilgrim who has thought long and hard about these matters. I make no grand promises, only the small promise of honesty: that I will describe the Christian life as I actually experience it, and believe it to be lived.
Posted September 3, 2002
I have never considered myself a person of great faith. I've struggled with guilt and frustration over my inability to 'know' the things about God that my peers claim to 'know'. Yancey's book helped redeem the years of seeking and struggling to believe. It is a book filled with hope and insight that has utterly changed the way I understand faith, doubt and my relationship with God.
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Posted February 21, 2010
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